Do you plan to pursue a career as a heavy equipment tech? You have to acquire certain skills to be successful, but having the passion to look for information about this line of work is a great first step. Learn about the skills and knowledge you’ll need to maintain heavy equipment as well as work styles that suit equipment techs before you apply.
What Is Being a Heavy-Duty Diesel Technician Like?
Being a technician is a rewarding and lucrative job. Although having a solid background in basic mechanical operations is helpful, you’ll gain many heavy-duty diesel mechanic skills through practice and experience. Here are some of the responsibilities you would have if you choose to become a heavy-duty equipment technician:
- Using special tools and equipment: You will learn how to work with various machines that require using hand tools and power tools. Many tools are standard for contract work or other positions working with machinery. However, you will need to learn the best strategies for troubleshooting malfunctions with specific machines and computerized systems.
- Performing inspections: You need to be familiar enough with the machines to diagnose them, and you’ll want to know about any common problems they might have to perform maintenance. Some customers will have a good amount of knowledge, but others may have misconceptions regarding technical issues with their machinery.
- Following health and safety protocols: The risks of working with power tools and heavy machinery mean that it’s critical you follow all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protocols. You might have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to job sites.
- Operating the machinery: You might have to operate the equipment on a job to make a diagnosis. It is also necessary for you to test equipment that you have repaired.
- Using operating manuals: You will read manuals and blueprints as a technician to investigate how to best repair malfunctioning equipment. The equipment and its functions must meet the manufacturer’s standards, and you need to understand the components of the equipment.
Heavy Equipment Technician Skills
Now that you know more about what this job involves, work on honing your personal and professional skills as you prepare to start your career. The following heavy equipment mechanic skills are important for a career in maintaining heavy equipment:
These skills are useful in just about any line of work. You will need to have a good grasp of the following topics:
- Active learning: You should always be teaching yourself while you work. You’ll need to understand new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. Your attention will need to be high when you interact with clients and coworkers about your work, and you will need to ask questions when appropriate.
- Writing and reading comprehension: This job requires reading work documents, so you need a good background in reading and understanding relevant terminology. You will also have to communicate effectively in writing and convey information well enough to be understood when speaking.
- Time management and decision making: You’ll need to manage your own time when on a job, and sometimes you may be responsible for how others spend their time. You’ll need to consider the benefits of taking a potential course of action before deciding which method would be the most effective or beneficial to your client.
- Critical thinking: You have to think logically to determine the possible solutions to an issue or the approaches to a task.
- Math: You’ll need to be able to apply basic mathematics operations that are relevant to the job. It’s often helpful to have a background in calculus, statistics, geometry and algebra.
- Managing people: You will likely need to motivate and direct others on a job and ensure that equipment is being used appropriately, all procedures are followed and everyone stays safe.
- Tools and equipment selection: You will have to bring the appropriate tools and know which equipment to use on each job.
- Troubleshooting: You will need to be able to recognize problems and operating errors and then determine what actions to take next.
If you need to improve your heavy diesel mechanic skills specifically, working with the equipment is the best way to achieve the required knowledge. These more technical skills are valuable for evaluating and operating the equipment:
- Operations monitoring and control: This involves examining the dials and gauges and checking all indicators that the machine is functioning. You’ll also need to understand how to control the equipment and use its operations.
- Quality control and systems analysis: Quality control involves conducting tests, evaluating the equipment and routinely inspecting machinery. You will also examine how a system’s operations or conditions affect its outcomes.
- Maintenance services: You will need to perform maintenance when necessary.
- Repair services: You’ll have to know how to use repair machines to provide services for your clients.
Knowledge Areas for Heavy Equipment Technicians
Many concepts you will need to know are universal and can be applied to other careers. In terms of heavy-duty diesel mechanic skills, several fields of study translate directly into this career. Here are significant areas of knowledge that you can use to work this type of job:
- Mechanical knowledge: It’s important to have a thorough understanding of all machines, equipment and tools you will work with.
- Physics: You will need a background in physical principles and laws and their applications, especially for mechanical and electrical systems.
- Engineering: You will need knowledge of the equipment, techniques and procedures of various products or services related to engineering science.
- Electronics: You’ll have to understand processors, circuit boards, hardware and software.
Public safety: You’ll need to know how to use equipment safely and follow the policies and procedures set up by local, state or national agencies.
- Construction: You may require knowledge of materials, tools and methods for constructing buildings and roads.
- Architecture: It can be useful to know how design techniques and principles work.
- Driving: You will need to be able to get to and from job sites while obeying all rules of the road.
Work Styles for Heavy Equipment Technicians
Knowing the heavy-duty mechanic skills needed for the job is essential, but you also have to have the right mindset. The following traits can make your work style more suited for a position as a heavy equipment tech:
- Independence: A job may require you to work independently and guide yourself through the process without supervision.
- Attention to detail: Each job requires careful consideration of the details as you complete your tasks.
- Integrity: You have to be ethical and honest.
- Sociability: Your job will be easier if you can handle teamwork and work well with others.
- Innovation: You may have to get creative with certain aspects of your job as you work on addressing work-related issues.
- Analytical thinking: You will have to analyze information and make logical evaluations to address issues.
- Leadership responsibilities: You may be put in charge of a job, which means you will have to give coworkers directions.
- Dependability: You must be reliable and responsible as you complete your obligations.
Become a Heavy Equipment Service Technician With Holt
Are you working on developing the heavy-duty diesel technician skills needed for this line of work? Want to make sure this is the right career for you? Learn more about our Heavy Equipment Service Technician jobs and apply online if you’re interested!